Here is a typical day in the life. It is 5:31am and I'm sending back emails to a photographer friend in New Zealand, or Aotearora as the Maori call it. She's planning a trip over to America and I'm trying to hook her up with a photographer friend in Albuquerque. I've got 24x30 prints coming out of the printer (a donation for our fundraiser for our spring Powwow). The first one was upside down. Dang. You can tell because the white border is broader at the bottom. Pretend you didn't read this part and your impression of me is as a perfect photographer where everything is always right. Anyway, it's around 1:30am there tomorrow, if that makes any sense. She's an owl, likely working her ass off like I am now. Only we do it to music, so it is fun. It is only work if someone else makes you do it, by the way.
I'm also doing a print list for Sarah for my show in NYC. She needs print sizes so we can order plexi there instead of shipping it across the country. All the prints are done, I just need to match the actual prints to the inventory list so that the sizes match. I need an assistant for this stuff. Dang. Anyone out there want to trade some expertise for some minion stuff? Sorry, I mean significant information for how to succeed as an artist? I am just kidding. This is what it takes, warts and all. You don't have to get up this early, you can actually sleep in until 7:00am or so.
Zazzle makes stamps for you, which is good, because you can put your own art on the stamps and not another generic flag or something. I put in my order for a bunch of 24 cent ones for the invitations. When I mailed a stack of other invitations in December, the postmaster stopped and looked at the stamps and only said one word. "Cool." Ah, the proverbial stamp of approval. Sorry. It’s much too early for this stuff.
A museum in LA wants 10 prints for a collectors forum, so I've got to get them mailed off by tomorrow (some of this art stuff is very short notice, so you have to be psyched up to do things fast). What is kind of interesting is that I just finished a lecture yesterday for my advanced class about the benefits of a web presence for photographers, and a curator visits my site to order a bunch of prints from my site the same day. Ok, so he didn’t order any. He wants some for a possible acquisition. What the heck, the point is, the site worked, which is a big deal for me, because it eliminates the need to mail a portfolio in order to evaluate early rounds of work. Ok, so other people pointed him to the site. I guess that means that he didn’t find it by himself on the net. What the heck, I’ll take them any way I can, who’s picky (by the way, google has gotten fuuuuuussy lateley with some of their search engine protocols, not good)?
Oh yes, and an essay is in the works that is due in late April. It’s about Contemporary Northwest Coast Art for the Sealaska Heritage Institute. It’s going to be fun. I wonder if this means I’m an authority on Northwest Coast Contemporary Art? Oops. Pretend you didn’t read that. The piece is going to be a bit sassy I think. I have an aversion towards some of the dry academic slanted writing, since there is already quite enough of that in the world. It is only 1,000 words, which is so short that it cries out for attitude.
What else? Oh yes, I need to finish my quest for finding Indigenous Photographers and Filmmakers for the National Geographic All Roads Project. I take this more seriously than everything else and am on the hunt. Send any my way.
There is a mountain of school related slave stuff too. Oops. Pretend you didn’t read that. I meant to say that I have academic responsibilities that require my expertise as an upcoming Full Professor of Photography. Evaluations, grades, new assignments, meetings, critiques, interviews, more grades, meet with great students, meet with a slacker student, deal with fussy people in general, meet with very tolerant people who laugh at the fussy ones, etc., etc.
Come home and be a dad to our great son. Congratulate him on his hard work with the heavy load of homework that the school buries him in, and let him know what a good sport he's been about it all. Let him watch cartoons, play outside with his friends, talk to him about stuff. This is all the personal stuff you need to know; just be aware that this is why everything else happens.
Back to making prints and doing the print inventory for the upcoming shows. Talk to another museum about a catalog. Negotiate about which writers to use; there was a bit of a mix-up, but we figured it out without getting all bent out of shape. The compromise is ok, we’re both way too busy to fuss about it. Back to making prints, and so on. Then a bit of writing while the prints are coming out of the printer.
Etc. etc. and on and on. All to music of course. It’s fun and I feel very fortunate to be doing what I do for a living. I tell my students that the greatest secret that artists have is to tell the world that you can’t make a living as an artist. If they do well in our classes, I tell them that in reality, it is embarrassingly easy to make a living as an artist. We just tell the slackers it’s hard to make a living as an artist and encourage them to get a job flipping burgers instead. Ha ha. Pretend you didn’t read this, because I am just kidding. Maybe. If you’re a hard working artist, come and see me.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Posted by Larry McNeil at 6:12 AM